Blair's Book Blog

The Poppy War

Author: R. F. Kuang

Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Find a copy at a local library

As a war orphan, Rin has few options. Fang Runin “Rin” hatches a plan to study and place in Sinegard, the elite military school. As the only school that offers a full ride, her plan depends on her success to avoid the Fangs marrying her to an older bureaucrat to protect their poppy smuggling operation.

She manages to succeed with grueling studying and help from her tutor. And it seems that the book will follow how she studies, learns self-control, gains enlightenment, and succeeds with the help of her master at university.

It’s not.

This seems to be a book about the utter destruction and cost of war, the prices people are willing to pay to “win”. It isn’t a happy coming of age story.

I found it riveting and engrossing. But it certainly isn’t happy.